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    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

20042019
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Personal profile

Research Interests

OUR RESEARCH

Chronic lung diseases and respiratory infections are among the top five causes of death worldwide (WHO, 2014). A large number of bacterial and viral pathogens can cause respiratory infections and underlying health conditions can increase the susceptibility to or be exacerbated by infections.

Understanding the molecular basis of microbial pathogenicity and host susceptibility is pivotal to design effective antimicrobial therapies and improve patient health.   

Our research focusses on the Gram-negative bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila and its relatives. Legionella spp. are ubiquitous environmental bacteria but upon inhalation by humans can cause a severe, potentially fatal pneumonia, called Legionnaires’ disease. Cases occur sporadically; however as L. pneumophila can be transmitted by aerosols, the bacteria also cause large, difficult to control outbreaks as seen in Edinburgh or more recently in New York. Risk factors for Legionella infection include advanced age, smoking, male sex and immune suppression.

Legionella infections are often accompanied by varying extra-pulmonary symptoms and the bacteria are unresponsive to treatment with beta-lactams, first choice antibiotics in the empiric therapy of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Because of these characteristics Legionella is considered to belong to the atypical respiratory pathogens, which are difficult to diagnose and account for up to 40% of CAPs. 

Key to human infection is Legionella’s ability to evade degradation in alveolar macrophages, immune cells which are usually deployed to detect and kill invading bacteria. The bacteria succeed in this using a sophisticated protein secretion system, the Dot/Icm type IV secretion system (T4SS), to inject an unprecedented number of more than 350 effector proteins into host cells. Although the individual functions of most of these effectors remain unknown it has become clear that they manipulate host cell signalling to enable Legionella to disarm host cell defences and to instead establish a protective, replication permissive niche, the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV).

We are interested in all aspects of Legionella biology – from evolution and persistence in the environment to the molecular basis of virulence and susceptibility to infection. Current projects focus in particular on the role of the Dot/Icm T4SS, which is essential for pathogenesis, and its effectors in the evasion of host defences.

Ultimately, we aim to translate our basic research into new preventive hygiene measures to minimize exposure, new diagnostics to improve antimicrobial stewardship in respiratory medicine as well as innovative host-directed therapies to resolve Legionella infections.

If you are interested to learn more about our research, to join or collaborate with us please email me g.schroeder@qub.ac.uk!

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Gunnar Neels Schroeder is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 13 Similar Profiles
Legionella Medicine & Life Sciences
Legionella pneumophila Medicine & Life Sciences
Virulence Medicine & Life Sciences
Vacuoles Medicine & Life Sciences
Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Medicine & Life Sciences
Infection Medicine & Life Sciences
Virulence Factors Medicine & Life Sciences
Proteins Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2017 2019

Research Output 2004 2019

Determination of In Vivo Interactomes of Dot/Icm Type IV Secretion System Effectors by Tandem Affinity Purification

So, E. C., Mousnier, A., Frankel, G. & Schroeder, G. N., 30 Jan 2019, Methods in Molecular Biology : Legionella . Springer, Vol. 1921. p. 289-303 15 p. (Methods in Molecular Biology ).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Legionella
His-His-His-His-His-His
Biotinylation
Ligases
Biotin
13 Citations (Scopus)

More than 18,000 effectors in the Legionella genus genome provide multiple, independent combinations for replication in human cells

Gomez-Valero, L., Rusniok, C., Carson, D., Mondino, S., Pérez-Cobas, A. E., Rolando, M., Pasricha, S., Reuter, S., Demirtas, J., Crumbach, J., Descorps-Declere, S., Hartland, E. L., Jarraud, S., Dougan, G., Schroeder, G. N., Frankel, G. & Buchrieser, C., 18 Jan 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Legionella
Genome
rab GTP-Binding Proteins
Legionella pneumophila
Proteins

The Galleria mellonella Infection Model for Investigating the Molecular Mechanisms of Legionella Virulence

Frankel, G. & Schroeder, G. N., 30 Jan 2019, Methods in Molecular Biology : Legionella . Springer, Vol. 1921. p. 333-346 14 p. (Methods in Molecular Biology ).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Legionella
Molecular Models
Larva
Virulence
Infection
2 Citations (Scopus)

The Legionella effector LtpM is a new type of phosphoinositide-activated glucosyltransferase

Levanova, N., Mattheis, C., Carson, D., To, K-N., Jank, T., Frankel, G., Aktories, K. & Schroeder, G. N., 22 Feb 2019, In : The Journal of biological chemistry.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Glucosyltransferases
Legionella
Glycosyltransferases
Phosphatidylinositols
Legionella pneumophila
9 Citations (Scopus)
Open Access
File
Legionella
Organelles
Weapons
Gene Deletion
Virulence Factors

Activities 1998 2019

PhD Viva Examination

Gunnar Neels Schroeder (Examiner)
12 Jun 2019

Activity: Examination typesOther examination

Undergraduate Research Experience Day

Gunnar Neels Schroeder (Contributor)
09 Jan 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in Festival/Exhibition

Kenneth B. Fraser Memorial Symposium

Gunnar Neels Schroeder (Participant)
07 May 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Northern Ireland Science Festival 2019

Gunnar Neels Schroeder (Contributor)
16 Feb 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in Festival/Exhibition

The UK Cellular Microbiology Network: “Exploring the host-bacterial interface”

Gunnar Neels Schroeder (Participant)
11 Feb 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference